This section is split into two parts: Firstly there is some technical information about our products, how they are made, what applications they are best suited to and how to use them. The second part covers some of the most common technical questions we are asked, how is carbon fibre made, health and safety information etc etc.
carbonology Carbon Fibre Sheet. carbonology Carbon Fiber Sheet.
There are many ways to make carbon fibre sheet. The simplest and cheapest is to use a wet lay up resin and some dry fabric. The resin is mixed and brushed or rollered into the fabric and compressed with a vacuum bag. The laminate is then cured at room temperature. The most obvious feature of this type of carbon fibre sheet is it's weight. It is much heavier than any other process - in fact it is often heavier than glass fibre! - Also, the weave pattern in the fabric is often distorted and looks 'pulled'
The next process in terms of technical proficiency is Resin Infusion. Here the fabric is laid out dry onto a flat polished surface and enclosed in a vacuum bag. Because of the fabric being in a vacuum, when resin is allowed in under the vacuum bag from one side, it purges the surface, wetting out the entire fabric area. This is a neat way to make sheet, but the reverse surface can is completely uncontrolled, and often a high percentage of resin needs to be used to complete the lay-up, making the sheet difficult to control in terms of weight.
Top of the evolutionary tree is the use of pre-preg* carbon fibre. Here the resin and hardener are premixed and impregnated in a very controlled way into the fabric. The material is laminated to the required thickness and that thickness can be controlled very accurately. The whole lot is compressed by hydraulic or vacuum pressure and is cured at high temperature, ensuring maximum stiffness and strength of the epoxy. The weight is precisely controlled and the sheet is as light as it is possible to make.
Here at carbonology, our carbon fibre sheet is made from pre-preg* T300 'High Strength' grade carbon fibre, cured at 120deg C under a complete vacuum, which compresses the sheet onto the mould surface and produces a perfect gloss finish. . How much does it compress the surface? How about 9.5 tonnes per square metre!!! As with all prepreg epoxy composite materials this sheet is very tough, and will withstand temperatures of over 100deg C. It is also completely resistant to corrosion and will last just about for ever.
*Pre-preg is the term given to a composite reinforcement such as carbon or glassfibre which has been 'pre-impregnated' with an epoxy resin and hardener (pre-mixed) Unlike an ambient cure resin and hardener mix however, this resin system requires high temperature to make it cure or set.
Part 2. What is carbon fibre - How strong is it??